Friday, 7 November 2014

The refit (part one)

With half term over it is time for all the crew to get back to work. Whilst the boys are off doing ‘reading, ‘riting & ‘rithmatic’, the inside of the boat smells of sawdust and cleaning solutions (environmentally friendly ones of course).

A complete refit of the boat was high on our list of priorities when we got back to England. Three years of travelling is hard on a boat and then there were the storms of last winter. The children have also all grown and have different needs now than when they were younger. Sharing a room was fine and having a large space to store all the sails made sense before but now they need a bit of boat to call their own and the first of the deckhands new cabins has been completed. Several trolley loads of stuff have been removed from the boat already for rehoming or recycling which has made a difference to storage and I'm sure there is more redundant stuff waiting to be discovered.
Wood waiting to be used to create better storage

The galley has been sorted and scrubbed through this week; a job which needs doing frequently on a boat to help the ongoing battle between all sailors and mould. It was good to find a few cosmopolitan treats we had not seen for a while as they had been pushed to the back or the storage. We particularly enjoyed a tin of octopus in ink which we found – a tasty reminder of Spain. We’ve also been looking at new layouts and ideas for galley including possibly an oven that can cook cake and pizza.

Basque pepper paste, French coconut and pate and Spanish Mackerel

We have three water tanks on board which can store enough for us to remain self sufficient for a few weeks. We relied on these several times on quay sides, mooring buoys, at anchor and even a couple of times on pontoons without a mains supply. These are brilliant but take up a lot of space. They are being moved to redistribute the weight in the boat and this will also free up some more storage space. This has meant the Skipper re-plumbing the whole pipe and filler system including attempting to track down a (possibly) obsolete elbow joint. This job also included making more holes in the boat and filling in others. Our front is starting to look quite patchwork as different repairs are being done.
The largest water tank (approx. 250 litres) - temporarily housed on the back deck
Maintenance has been a big part of the Skippers life whilst we have been away but everything needs repainting, even the bits which were only done last year. Having been reunited with his router which had gone to stay with the in-laws, many jobs which took hours previously by hand have been made much quicker. Many cruisers will tell you that being able to use electric tools makes a huge difference but depends upon having both the tools and access to mains electricity. Yet another reason why many jobs get put on a ‘to do’ list until it is major refit time and everything is available.

Filling the holes from the old deck fillers

We knew that refitting was going to be a big task and it is certainly going to take a while. We have achieved a lot already and we’re working our way round bit by bit - part two will follow when there is more to tell you.

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